Windows 10 Customization

1. Add applications or programs to the start menu and taskbar.

 For ease of access and to minimize clutter on your desktop, it can be helpful to add commonly used programs to the start menu and task bar.  In Windows 10, you can put shortcut icons on the start menu (they appear on the right hand side after clicking on Start on the bottom left on your desktop).  Programs can also be added to the taskbar, the black strip at the bottom of your screen.  The taskbar is a great place to place shortcuts for frequently used applications.

    A. On the bottom left, click Start

    B. Begin typing the first few characters of the program that you would like to appear in the Start Menu (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 

    C. When the program you want to add is displayed, hover your mouse over the top of the displayed program, right click and select "Pin to Start."  Added Start Menu items will appear as large icons on the right hand side when clicking on Start.  You can also click on the Start Menu and scroll down through the list of applications to add to the Start Menu or type in the "Search Windows" field to add a program to the Start Menu.

2. Customize Power Settings

Power settings, such as adjusting when a laptop or computer monitor or hard drive go to sleep, can be changed to make a positive impact on power conservation and/or battery life.
To view or make adjustments to your power settings, go to Start>Settings>System>Power & sleep:   

A. Laptop and Desktop Suggested Settings:


  •          On battery power (Laptop): Turn off after 10 minutes.
  •          When plugged in (both Laptop and Desktop): Turn off in 1 hour.


  •            On battery power (Laptop): Laptop goes to sleep in 1 hour.
  •            When plugged in: (both Laptop and Desktop) goes to sleep in 8 hours.


3. Surface Tips

A. Turn off WiFi While Asleep

By default, your Surface WiFi is continually connected to WiFi, even when asleep.  This will drain your battery FAST.  Below are instructions for how to turn off this default feature.

   1. Click the Start Menu (bottom left on the desktop) and type in “Power & Sleep Settings” (be sure to use the ampersand) and select it. That will open the Settings window.

   2. Ensure Power & Sleep is displayed at the top (or selected on the left if window is wider).

   3. In the main pane (on the right hand side) scroll down to the Wi-Fi section and in that section turn off "On Battery Power, Stay Connected to Wi-Fi while Asleep." If you don’t have a Wi-Fi section, then this setting is not applicable to your laptop, and there is nothing for you to do.

   4. Close the window.

B. On Screen Keyboard Icon

For tablet devices such as a Surface, having the keyboard icon available in the system tray (on the bottom right near the clock) can be very convenient when you need to utilize the keyboard and the keyboard isn't automatically invoked when opening a program or application, such as Word or Excel.

Right click on the taskbar (the black bar at the bottom of the screen on the desktop)  -> select "Show touch keyboard button."


4. Notifications

Notifications in Windows 10 are intended to keep you informed of software updates and changes, tips for using Windows 10 more effectively, and changes to your computers that may effect you.

  1. Start>Settings>System>Notifications & actions>Turn them all off except maybe the "Get tips and suggestions as you use Windows
  2. Outlook 2016 and OWA ( each have their own notification settings
    1. Outlook>File>Options>Mail>Message Arrival section
    2. OWA>Settings>Mail>Message options

NOTE: OWA Settings are per account, and Outlook settings are per computer.

  1. Enable Windows Hello for Business (biometric sign in)
    1. Start>Settings>Accounts>Sign-in options
    2. Enable Windows Hello if device is supported (I.E. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 or newer)
  2. Application default settings
    1. Firefox search engine set to Yahoo - Change to Google
      1. Firefox>Settings>Search>Default search engine
  3. Set background image
    1. Start>Settings>Personalization>Background